Animal Friendly Resources

Here are many references to animal friendly resources. Just click on the topic tab to expand the tab and reveal more information.
Animal Friendly Housing
Animal Services realizes that one of the major reasons for giving up a pet is the shortage of landlords who rent to pet owners. In order to help people find housing, Animal Services has compiled a list of pet friendly landlords. Call them at 465-5029 for a copy of the list. Pet friendly housing resources online:
Humane Society Here is a link to an article "Renting With Pets". This is a link to a site that will allow you to search by state for an apartment allowing cats or dogs. (Click here or on the image of the page below.)
my apartment guide If renting, here are a few considerations wrt renter's insurance.
Renter's Insurance
Zumper Zumper has a page "How to Rent Pet Friendly Apartments"
Apartment Guide
Dog Stuff (parks, training, clubs)
Dog parks in Watsonville and Santa Cruz County Beaches and Parks that provide LIMITED off-leash access:
  • It's Beach (West Lighthouse Beach) and Mitchell's Cove Beach, Santa Cruz
    Off-Leash: Sunrise-10AM and 4PM-Sunset
    No dog access: 10AM-4PM
  • Lighthouse Field, Santa Cruz
    Off-Leash: Sunrise-10AM and 4PM-Sunset
    On-Leash: 10AM-4PM
  • Skypark, Scotts Valley
    Small (under 25 lbs.) and Large (over 25 lbs.) dog enclosures
    Sunrise to sunset
  • Polo Fields, Aptos
    All-size dog enclosure
    Sunrise to sunset

Beaches and Parks that provide ON-LEASH access:
  • Palm Beach
  • Rio del Mar
  • Seabright
  • Loch Lomond
  • Scott Creek
  • New Brighton
  • Twin Lakes
  • Manresa
  • Davenport
  • Seacliff

Beaches and Parks where NO ACCESS is permitted:
  • Capitola
  • Municipal Wharf
  • Cowell Main
  • Sunset Beach

Universal Rules and Regulations
  • Santa Cruz County requires that dogs must be on-leash at all times unless they are confined to private property (exceptions listed above).
  • At the off-leash and limited access dog parks and beaches listed above, dogs must be UNDER EFFECTIVE VOICE CONTROL of guardian at all times.
  • Santa Cruz County requires that guardians always clean up after their dog's defecations.
  • Dog guardians are responsible for any damage to the beaches or parks incurred by their own dogs, as well as for damage to restoration projects or landscaping. Guardians may be responsible for fees incurred by their dog's damage to public property.
  • Any violations of the above listed park and beach rules and regulations may result in citation.


Coastal Dog Owners Group (C-DOG) has dog events and a Yahoo chat group. If you click on the "resources" link on the left side of the page, there is a list of dog resources including positive dog training, boarding, pet friendly lodging, dog Frisbee, and agility.

Woofers & Walkers is a collective of responsible dogs and their people, and they regularly meet to have fun, free events.

Starting Shelter/Rescued Dogs out on the Right Paw in their New Homes This free, drop-in group will coach you in training your newly adopted dog and helping you overcome some of their challenging behaviors and common problems. These sessions are for people, so please leave your dogs at home.

Jumping up, barking, and pulling on the leash, etc. come naturally to dogs and we’re here to help you learn what to do.
When: The 1st Tuesday of every month at 6:30pm
Where: 2701 Chanticleer, Santa Cruz, CA
Sponsored by: Bed and Biscuits, and the Santa Cruz SPCA

Smart Start Seminars for new dog owners
This is a free class to help people learn about dogs and how to prevent bad habits from forming. You will learn to provide consistent and positive leadership for your dog, and to teach basic manners to your new friend.
When: The 1st Monday of every month, 4:30-5:30 PM
Where: Santa Cruz Animal Services at
Seminars are presented by: Cynthia Edgerly, Dog Trainer and Behavior Consultant (
Financial Assistance for Pet Owners
Financial assistance for pet owners available from the SPCA. Programs include:
  • Free adoption for qualified seniors (plus spay/neuter, vet exam, vaccinations, collar, and leash)
  • Free adoption for people who suffer physical or emotional distress and would benefit from a pet
  • Free pet food for low-income pet owners

Other financial assistance programs

Other financial assistance programs are available for those who can't afford to provide veterinary care to their pets, or need financial assistance for their pets due to the current economic crisis:

  • Project Purr has a new "Fix and Feed Pets in Need" program with two food pantries providing cat and dog food for low-income pet owners. The two pantries, Potter House and Loaves & Fishes, are both in Watsonville. They also supply bi-lingual information about low-income spay/neuter programs that are available in this area.

  • Angels 4 Animals ( Vets and pet owners notify this organization when pet is facing euthanasia or surrender due to owner's financial limitations. They will financially help those pet owners to their best ability.

  • Help A Pet (
    Provides financial assistance to pet owners who are disabled, senior, and children of the working poor. Advocates for the animal-human bond that benefits humans (esp. their target demographic) so much. Funds only go towards veterinary treatment, and only rarely for preventative care.

  • The Pet Fund (
    National organization that helps reduce vet euthanasia and owner surrenders due to owner's financial hardship. Largest and most well-known organization of it's kind. Economy (finances) and foreclosures are now the main reason for owner surrenders.

  • Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance Program (
    Currently limited to California residents due to low funds. They provide financial assistance to cat owners who need to pay for emergency and injury vet care, for seniors and the disabled, for those who have recently lost a job, and for those who rescue a cat but cannot afford necessary vet care.

  • Second Chance 4 Pets (
    Northern CA organization that financially assists animals that would otherwise be euthanized or surrendered due to death or disability of owner (I'm still on disability).

  • United Animal Nations (
    National organization that helps rescue animals from major disasters and events such as the current economic crisis. Assists pet owners who need financial assistance in order to care for and keep their pet(s). Wide range of programs so I'm not sure if this is a large program or not.

  • Jake Brady Memorial Fund (
    Provides financial assistance to pet owners who cannot afford preventative vet care for their pets, and crisis vet care. Supports pet owners who have limited finances due to disability, seniors, and low-income. Although all applications are considered, Ohio residents get priority assistance when organization is low on funds.

  • AAHA Helping Pets (
    Provides financial assistance for veterianary care when owners cannot afford it. Provides financial assistance to low-income pet owners or those who are in temporary financial crisis preventing them from caring for their pet.

  • IMOM (
    Financially supports pet owners with emergency vet care if the vet writes a letter stating that pet will need to be euthanized or will die within five days if emergency vet care is not paid for/provided.

  • Save U.S. Pets (
    Veterinary organization that awards grants to veterinarians who apply on behalf of an animal in their clinic that needs lifesaving treatment that the owner cannot afford.

  • Cats in Crisis (
    Provides small financial assistance ($75-100 only due to limited funds) for veterinary care of cats who have a chronic medical condition, are up for adoption and need extra medical care, or were adopted as a special-needs cat within the last year. They require weekly updates and photos as well as a long list of rules and policies for how you must care for your cat.

  • Handicapped Pets (
    Has awesome resource pages for organizations that provide financial assistance to injured and handicapped pets. They DO NOT have their own program for assisting with handicapped animals through financial assistance.

  • Special Needs Dobermans (

  • Corgi Aid (

  • Dachschunds Needing IVDD surgery (30july2010: The last known link for this site, is currently not working. It is

  • Labrador Lifeline (

  • LabMed: Rx For Rescued Labs (

  • Westie Med (

  • Care Credit (
    CareCredit, the leader in patient/client financing, has helped more than 3 million patients/clients get the treatment or procedures they needed and wanted. With a comprehensive range of plan options, for treatment or procedure fees from $1 to over $25,000, we offer a plan and a low monthly payment to fit comfortably into almost every budget.
Help for People with Disabilities
You probably know many people who are considered to be disabled by the legal standards that allow for assistive animals. Legally, all landlords must allow assistive animals, even if they are just for emotional support. These laws allow people to benefit from the companionship of most legal pet species, bypassing those restrictive housing contracts with the "no pet" clause. Find out more by clicking here.
Help for Horses; Horses as Help
Willow Pond Ranch Foundation offers help to horses and people in unusual ways. All of their horses are RESCUED from neglect, abuse, or shelters. They are rehabilitated to help with:
  • Equine therapy
  • Pony Parties
  • Riding Lessons
  • Summer Camp
  • Aerobic Compost
They partner with CASA to help Santa Cruz foster children come to terms with their own abuse, and find a safe place to express their love.
Meet Other Animal Lovers or Their Pets!
Yahoo Groups:
Talking about your pets is easy with Yahoo Groups. There are groups for every animal you can think of, and groups for general animal topics. You can ask questions, meet people, and have access to resources that group members have compiled to help each other find good vets or rescue groups. Start searching for a group that interests you! A few recommendations:
  • Dog_Nutrition
  • discdoglist
  • DogHealth
  • DogWhispererFans
  • feral_cats
  • KittyWhiskas
  • CatVet
  • pickinparrots
  • parrot_adventures
  • red_eared_sliders
  • bayrats
  • bunnygarden
  • Rabbits_R_Us
  • etherbun
  • OnTheRoadAgain

Yahoo! Powered by

Other Social and Dating Sites:
Planning for the Future of Your Furry Loved Ones
Many wonderful pets are euthanized every year when owners die or become too ill to care for them. 2nd Chance 4 Pets is a nonprofit that has been featured in the New York Times, National Public Radio, and other major news outlets for their wonderful work helping pet owners plan for the life of their pets. For many families, our pets are like children and we treat them as such. Your best friend needs you to make plans that secure their safety and well-being. Please visit to find out more.
Pet Loss
The Santa Cruz SPCA holds a pet loss support group on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month, from 7-9 PM.

2685 Chanticleer Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA
Tel: (831) 465-5000

The Rainbow Bridge is an online support group for pet owners who are grieving over a lost pet. This website also has links to other great resources for people who have lost a pet. Some people find it easier to discuss their loss anonymously, or from a distance, so this helps people to connect with others during this difficult time. You can post photo and written memorials on this site, and light a candle every Monday evening at the same time as other people around the world who are grieving for their lost pet. There are chat rooms, moderated message boards (all of these messages are read by staff before being posted to ensure good manners), and other resources for communicating with people from around the world.
Pet Therapy
Do you know of an organization that would benefit from pet therapy?
Would you like to volunteer with your pet?
Here are a few organizations that help in this area:

Furry Friends
Support Partners Program
Canine Companion for Independence
Assistance Dog Institute
The Delta Society
Pet Travel and Moving Services
Continental Airlines offers the safest and most affordable air travel for traveling with pets. They also have very reasonable costs for transporting your pet (inside the passenger cabin) without a human traveler. Call their 24-hour pet desk to ask about their "Quick Pak" program for this option. Putting your pet in their pressurized cargo cabin is also available for cheap travel unless your pet is traveling to or from a city that has extremely hot or cold temperatures, since animals who are unloaded from cargo will be waiting on the tarmac with the suitcases during unloading.

If you've already moved and your animals haven't, you can easily have a friend drop off your cats, dogs, or rabbits at the nearest airport and then pick them up at the airport closest to your new home. It's necessary to have vaccines up-to-date (for cats and dogs) and have a health certificate signed by a vet within ten days prior to airplane travel. Ideally, you will be able to travel with your pet if they are traveling long-distance, but this option is best when you aren't able to be in two places at once.
Recommended Books (an unusual variety)
  • Pet Food Nation by Joan Weiskopf. Finally, the book that has both sides of the story. Recent events have made it clear that commercial pet food has many unusual ingredients. Protect your pet by knowing about pet nutrition and how to feed your pet.
  • The Sneeze-Free Cat Owner by Diane Morgan. This is your guide to living with your feline in peace. Plus, don't forget about the health of your partner or friend who is allergic! You don't need to put a sign on your door that says "Warning: Cat Inside!"
  • Squirrels At My Window: Life With a Remarkable Gang of Urban Squirrels--a great story for any animal lover. Two eccentric University Professors in NYC kept a detailed journal about their daily squirrel encounters, including how much food they handed out to the squirrels. Includes drama, excitement, and will fall in love with each of the characters. Surprisingly good writing with a good amount of humor.
  • The State of the Animals IV: 2007--This is the fourth year that the Humane Society of the United States has published a book to explore current and emerging issues for animal protection. This is a research book compiled by scholars and leaders in the field. If you want to stay current on animal protection policies and research, this should be part of your collection.
  • Animals In Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior--The famous autistic professor and animal researcher, Temple Grandin, writes about her work. She specializes in designing humane slaughter systems for farm animals, but has no emotional concept of this irony. This book is more about her animal research with pigeons, squirrels, and farm animals and what it means in terms of animal perceptions and behavior. Her "disability" and the research on autism allow her to discover things that she can share with the human race.
  • One-At-A-Time: A Week in an American Animal Shelter--This book was originally turned down by publishers because it was "too sad" to be marketable. They were shocked to find that "No Voice Unheard" established their own printing press and sold over 20,000 copies of the book within a couple years. It is now used as a textbook in universities, is a teaching resource used by nearly all humane education programs, and is part of the shelter and volunteer culture. This book describes 75 particular animals and their stories in detail, but also includes general shelter statistics and facts that are not otherwise available to the general public. The 50% of shelter animals who DO find wonderful adoptive homes offer hope for the shelter systems, but the other 50% are euthanized. These deaths are possibly preventable. This book has inspired communities to reduce euthanasia and offer alternatives. Note: the statistics mentioned are not true for our local shelters, but for the average American shelter.
  • The Man Who Talks to Dogs--The wild dog packs and millions of stray dogs in America ARE important to Randy Grimm. He started rescuing dogs and documenting the problem so that he could teach Americans about this issue. He is now famous for his work. The author describes the emotional and practical realities of Grimms' work. Grimm has realistic solutions to the problem, acknowledging that most of the wild dogs would be unable to find homes due to behavioral issues. His work inspires many people: one person can make a huge difference in this world.
  • The Zookeepers Wife, A War Story--This is the story of a German zoo that successfully hid several hundred Jews during WWII. The zoo director was smart and creative enough to avert suspicion with a well-publicized program to breed and bring back extinct "purebred" Aryan animals. During the war most zoos were shut down, put on excessive food rations, or even destroyed to protect the community in case the area was bombed and the dangerous animals escaped. This particular zoo flourished under the director and his wife, and many human and animal lives were saved. Compassion and outrage are expressed in many ways other than direct protest.
  • Thought to Exist in the Wild: Awakening from the Nightmare of Zoos--A National Geographic Photographer and a nature writer teamed up to create this work of photo journalism. It is a book about the ugly facts, and about misrepresentations that zoo institutions propagate. The authors discuss the ethics of keeping animals behind bars and in cages, but also the ethics of bringing wild animals into zoos "for science and education." This book will probably receive more attention in the wake of recent publicity about zoos. In December of 2007, three young men taunted a tiger in a San Francisco zoo, and the tiger was somehow able to jump over the moat and walls, kill one man, and severely injure the two surviving victims.
  • The Dangerous Book for Dogs is a humorous point-of-view for dogs who want trouble. You will laugh for hours and may start to wonder if your pet is doing that on purpose...
  • Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding--This is a good book for someone you know. Chances are, you know someone who hoards animals or something else. I list it here because it is among the best books available for individuals who recognize their problem and for professionals who want to help those people. Broad use of this book could include shelters who deal with this problem regularly, mental health professionals, and people who fear that volunteering will lead them to adopt everyone at the local shelter! Also a great gift for that person that is impossible to buy for because "they have everything!"
  • Bird Flu: A Virus of Our Own Hatching--Throughout history, diseases have mutated enough to cross the species boundaries between animals and humans. Bird flu has existed for many years without spreading to humans, but our actions in the farming and animal industries have caused an evolution of the bird flu that could be pandemic. If these problems aren't addressed, bird flu and other animal viruses will wipe out many of the humans on this planet. This book gives advice about protecting your family and pets, as well as developing city and state policy to prevent such outbreaks.
  • Wild Neighbors: The Humane Approach to Living with Wildlife--This book is for homeowners and people who work with wildlife or "pest" problems. It describes how to identify wildlife problems, find the animals who are involved, find a humane solution, and prevent future problems with that wildlife. As humans overtake the natural habitat of most species, the animals have adapted to urban and suburban life. This problem will only get worse in the next few years.
  • Compassion Fatigue in the Animal Care Community--This is a book for people who work or volunteer with animals. We've all seen those people who are "burned out" from seeing so much animal cruelty and no longer have true empathy for the animals they work with. Compassion fatigue can result in extreme emotional distancing, apathy, inhumane decisions, and pessimistic shelter policies. It can be draining to care so much when there is so much suffering around you. The high morale of an animal rescue organization CAN be sustained. This is a treatment and prevention guide for this type of overload.
  • Community Approaches to Feral Cats: Problems, Alternatives, and Recommendations--The Humane Society of the United States outlines why the euthanasia of feral cats does not lower feral cat populations. It is not a solution to that works. Many millions of feral cats live in the U.S. and millions are euthanized each year by shelters. There are humane and effective alternatives to the common method of euthanasia. In fact, policies that work actually save money!
  • Forensic Investigation of Animal Cruelty: A Guide For Veterinary and Law Enforcement Professionals--By outlining the legal and policy barriers, this book helps veterinarians, Animal Control Officers, police, and shelter management to develop better strategies for investigating and prosecuting cases of animal cruelty. Legal fees and obstacles are the reason most cruelty cases are not prosecuted, but this book will help you save money while prosecuting this crime.
  • RESCUED: Saving Animals From Disaster--This nonfiction book tells the story of pets rescued from Hurricane Katrina. It also proposes that these types of pet rescue efforts are worth it, for both the animals and humans involved. Humans who experience trauma need their animals for emotional support, and vice versa. Teaching society to care about these animals (especially when there are many priorities) is actually possible. What would it take to raise the standards for humanity? Practical advice and resources are offered for future rescue efforts of this sort.
  • Can We Have One? A Parent's Guide to Raising Kids with Cats and Dogs--A veterinarian and a Psychologist wrote this book to help parents with the many issues that arise when you are raising kids and caring for pets at the same time. They answer all the questions that you've thought of, and many questions that you forgot to ask! You will learn to avoid any injuries (caused by the pet or caused by your child), provide plenty of exercise for your pet when you are also trying to supervise your kid and balance 100 other things, avoid allergies, teach your kid to take care of their pets, and limit your child's exposure to germs and parasites. With a caring and humorous attitude, the writers talk about everything from bringing a baby home to a pet household, to helping your child deal with the death of their first pet. This book is relevant to all pet households, even though its primary focus is on dogs and cats.
  • Animal House Style: Designing a Home to Share with Your Pets  
  • Careers with Animals (for kids 3-8) from the Humane Society of the United States
  • For Kids: Let's Read-and-Find-Out Science Books :
    • Big Tracks;
    • Little Tracks;
    • Animals in Winter;
    • Where Are the Night Animals?; What's Alive?;
    • What's it Like to be a Fish?;
    • A Nest Full Of Eggs;
    • Baby Whales Drink Milk;
    • What Lives in a Shell?;
    • From Tadpole to Frog  
Recommended Magazines
Animal Wellness- pet health topics such as pet food analysis, aging, allergies, skin and coat supplements, liver and kidney diseases, and even cat litter analysis!

Coastal Canine Magazine-All about LOCAL dog stuff!

Bay Woof-News with bite for Bay Area dog lovers. Includes dog humor, veterinarian advice for dog owners, local dog health concerns, local shelter and rescue groups, dog stories, best books about dogs, and advice relevant to your dog.

Tails- Silicon Valley animal news including pet events, best businesses, animal resources, best products, adoptions, and articles on local pet people and news.

Best Friends - news about displaced pets from natural disasters, cities that improve animal policy, what to do with feral cats, dog breeds, traveling with pets, pet health, wildlife issues, animal hoarding, and newsworthy rescue organizations.

Animal Times -- PETA's magazine has articles on the latest animal-rights issues, animal friendly products and recipes, vegetarianism, and legal info to help animals.

City Dog - West Coast dog info including weekend trips, locally made products, dog-friendly neighborhoods, best trails and hikes, events, news on canine advocacy, puppy training/manners, and celebrity dogs.

Modern Dog - the urban dog-owner's guide! Etiquette with pets, special grooming, best toys, fun activities for you and Fido, and news about famous pets/owners.

Bark - topics such as health, behavior, craft projects for your dog, music and books about dogs, new dog laws, educational toys for your pup, and dog humor.

Fido Friendly -- a great magazine for dog owners who travel with their dog.

Dog Watch - Cornell Veterinary Medicine Newsletter covers the latest dog info.

Cat Watch - Cornell Veterinary Medicine Newsletter covers the latest cat info.

I Love Cats -- this is a great magazine for cat owners. There is always more to learn about your feline companion: health, products, behavior, and resources for meeting other cat people. It's always important to hear about other cats, for encouragement and support.

Animal Sheltering - news for shelters and volunteers on topics such as: best fundraisers, inspiration, seasonal problems and solutions, preventing and treating epidemics in shelters, cracking down on dog fighting, equine neglect, feral cat solutions, making judgment calls during adoptions, and training opportunities.

ASPCA Action -- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals official publication. Topics on health, behavior, training, law/cruelty enforcement and humane treatment for animals.

Bird Talk - bird training, diet, health, species information, news (such as West-Nile virus and bird-flu), housing, community resources, and traveling with your bird!

Aquarium Fish - species and care, products, meet other fish people, kids fish, health, and introducing new fish to your old fish.

Equus -- great horse magazine with latest vet research, behavioral research, and latest info on riding and training techniques.

Horse & Rider -- Western horsemanship and riding skills. Great for people who train for shows. Horse fashion, products, and accessories are regularly reviewed. Also, articles on latest horse winners and best horse farms.

Ranger Rick
-- for kids 7 and older. Photos and articles on animal species, habitats, and conservation. Puzzles, games, and nature activities will keep your kid busy with learning. This is a great resource for homework assignments and reports!

Wild Animal Baby -- for babies 1-3 years, this has great photo stories and nature/animal activities for your baby. Published on non-toxic paper in case your baby eats it. What a great way to start out your life!

Your Big Backyard -- for kids 3-7 years, this has many activities for preschoolers. Simple animal stories, fun crafts, holiday projects, games, and tons of photos.